Seniors Are Welcome In Philipsburg


Philipsburg, the county seat of Granite County, Montana, is small with a population of only 850, but a fun place to visit. Senior travelers will find that Philipsburg is located about 30 minutes off of I-90, southeast of Missoula or west of Butte, Montana.

Known as an 18th century mining town, the area is rich in history but offers much more than mining these days. Silver mining originally brought this town to life back in the late 1860s and sapphire mining remains the main attraction today. Senior visitors, you can mine your own valuable Montana sapphires while visiting Philipsburg.


The Philipsburg area is home to several ghost towns of former mining and timber towns, 24 to be precise. And National Historic Sites abound for senior history lovers.

Seniors Enjoy Mining Town

Philipsburg was named after the famous mining engineer Philip Deidesheimer, who designed and supervised the ore smelter around which the town originally formed. The surrounding hills still show the scars of mountains that have produced vast deposits of silver, manganese, sapphires, and to a lesser extent gold.


Granite, Tower, Rumsey, Black Pine and other local mines were considered home to thousands of hard working men in the late 19th and early 20th century glory days. Today, it’s hard to imagine the bustling activity that went on where now only broken down shacks and tailing piles remain.

Philipsburg is home to Granite Ghost town and other haunts you’ll not want to miss. Me, I’d want to take in the Granite County Museum and Cultural Center, housed in the former Courtney Hotel. And my wife would be sure to visit the famous Sweet palace Candy Store.


Seniors Enjoy Philipsburg’s Adventures

Adventures abound in Philipsburg, whether it’s mining for sapphires, hiking the Great Divide, or reserving a seat in Montana’s oldest Opera House. All year long the surrounding area is a haven for sports, recreation, and culture.

Come snowfall, the mountains become a winter wonderland of downhill skiing, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding, just to name a few. Hike, bike, and backpack to your heart’s delight, or fish in some of the best trout streams Montana has to offer.


TripAdvisor has almost a dozen attractions that senior visitors will not want to miss, starting off with the Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine. Grab a bucket of sapphire gravel, belly up to the wash trough and find Montana Sapphires.

And where to stay? Take in the Ranch at Rock Creek—a luxury guest ranch that brings together wide open spaces and upscale amenities.

So set your GPS for this old mining town and enjoy all it has to offer. -jeb

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